“To go outside to check if anyone is coming.”

There is actually a word for something like “To go outside to check if anyone is coming" but not in English. There are a number of other concepts not expressed well by just one English word. More such words are discussed here. I thought my LingQ colleagues would find this interesting.


I really liked this. One of my favorites is French - espirit d’escalier - which means “[a] witty comment / phrase you think of when leaving something such as an argument. It comes from a French phrase meaning ‘staircase wit.’ i.e. you only think of it as you are walking down the stairs to leave.”

And German - Weltschmertz.

My favorite in the article was #2 - Mamihlapinatapei - “the wordless, yet meaningful look shared by two people who both desire to initiate something but are both reluctant to start”

I must say that one of my favorites is #9 - Prozvonit. It would’ve come in very handy when I was in Korea using a prepaid phone :slight_smile:
However, the word that I’ll come away using the most is definitely #7 - Tartle. It sounds English enough to use, and it’s a word I’ll use in the near future, however correct or not my usage may be…“Hey man, stop tartling and introduce me already!”

The name of the article is misleading, if not outright wrong. Not only is there nothing particularly untranslatable about these words; they have all been translated right there in the article. I find it surprising that a Vanderbilt graduate makes such basic mistakes.

I think tone of the article is lighter than what you seem to get from it.
BTW, whether there are mistakes or not, I suggest you are putting too much credence in what is a very woolly credential, i.e. a BA from any university in North America.

You’re probably right; I’m reading too much into it. But I’m still surprised that someone who has been studying English and Communication for a few years falls into the all too common trap of “untranslatable” words.